Often a failure at Midnight is a film that has such a slow build that it simply can’t sustain audience interest until the inevitable payoff. Certain films (this year’s excellent COLD FISH comes to mind) fit well within the purview of this audience, yet their pacing is so deliberate that it’d be a waste as the nocturnal, sixth or seventh film of the day.
RED NIGHTS, crafted by a couple French dudes that make films in Hong Kong, suffers from the exact opposite problem – they squander a perfectly great opening sequence involving latex and crazy fingernails, and have the film devolve into some incoherent story about a box, some poison, and some other stuff that didn’t really make any sense at all.
Crucially, the film takes itself pretty damn seriously, all atmosphere and creeping shots with little regard for character motivation or sticking with the earlier mood. We get some kinky costumes, but it descends into one of those turgid pieces where we wait for something spooky to jump out from behind a wall. When the thing ends up being some sort of mad Police procedural, all hope is lost. Save for the opening reel, this is a forgettable, regrettable contributions this MM slate.